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May 18, 2021

CVS ends mask requirement for vaccinated shoppers

Contributed photo A CVS employee administers a COVID-19 vaccine at a long-term care facility.

CVS Health announced Monday that it is dropping its mask requirement at certain stores for customers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The change in policy, which went into effect this week, will only apply at stores in states and municipalities that have relaxed or done away with indoor mask mandates for vaccinated people, company officials said. That category will grow to include Connecticut starting on Wednesday, when the state officially drops its remaining coronavirus-related business restrictions and permits vaccinated people to go without masks or face coverings in most indoor settings.

CVS said unvaccinated or partially vaccinated customers will need to continue to wear masks inside its stores, and employees, regardless of their vaccination status, are required to do the same.

The pharmacy retailer, which said it is basing its decision on May 13 guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, joins the ranks of other large chain stores now in the process of easing mask requirements as vaccination rates climb throughout the country. Walmart, Sam’s Club, Trader Joe’s and Costco all announced they are phasing out masking rules for vaccinated customers last week.

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